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Cities Skylines 2 Services Guide
Services provide citizens with what they need to live a good and productive life. There are twelve services in the game. They are unlocked at different milestones and each service has specific buildings. The road to the perfect city in Cities: Skylines II lies in understanding the needs of the citizens and fulfilling them by providing suitable services as well as other activities such as places to go shopping. City services indirectly affect Land Value as they answer the needs of citizens and companies in the city, which in turn increases their willingness to pay higher rent in the area, thus increasing their levels and the Land Value.
Furthermore, not all citizens have the same needs. Senior citizens have more free time and value places where they can spend that free time. Families with children on the other hand value areas with schools. Working-age citizens seek residence in areas that have quick connections to workplaces. And companies value services that increase their Efficiency and profit margin. Citizens’ needs can be inspected from their household’s Selected Info Panel (SIP) by hovering over the family’s Happiness icon. Similarly, companies’ needs can be inspected in their SIP, hovering over their Efficiency value.
Service budget is unlocked at Milestone 3. The budget of services can be set anywhere between 50% and 150%. At 50%, services will operate at only 25% efficiency, and at 150%, services will operate at 125% efficiency. In general, services should be running as close to 100% as possible. Some things can benefit greatly from adjusting the budget. If you are producing more water than you need, reducing the budget can eliminate that waste. Slowly increase the budget back towards 100% as water demand increases.
Services will increase their service capacity (trash trucks, police cars, student capacity, etc.) if the budget is increased, or decrease their service capacity if the budget is decreased. This also applies to utilities such as water pumps and power plants. Decreasing the budget of a service will reduce the capacity, which can be beneficial if that service is providing a large excess versus what is needed. Changing the budget for a service often has easily observed effects, like the number of vehicles a service building can field. Other effects may be less obvious, such as the range of the service coverage.
Service fees are unlocked at Milestone 3. The services economy panel also includes service import and export information as well as the fees collected from city services that have them. The following services collect fees from the citizens: Roads, Electricity, Water & Sewage, Healthcare, Garbage Management, Education and Transportation.
Electricity and water & sewage fees are paid by citizens and companies alike, and the fees can be adjusted in the Economy panel. Every 1% below 100% increases Electricity Consumption by +0.2%, Company Efficiency by +0.2% and Citizen Happiness by +0.05. Every 1% above 100% decreases Electricity Consumption by -0.4%, Company Efficiency by -0.4% and Citizen Happiness by -0.1.
Citizens also pay a fee for Healthcare services when they visit medical facilities to get treatment, while Garbage fees are paid when garbage trucks collect garbage from households and companies. Additionally, Citizens pay for education, with each school type having its own service fee, the cheapest being the Elementary School and the most expensive being the University.
You can set up roadside parking fees for Districts and the various parking lots and parking halls included in the Roads service. Similarly, each passenger transportation line’s ticket fee can be adjusted individually, which can encourage or discourage citizens to use certain methods of transportation as the cost is considered when they make pathfinding decisions.
List of services
Roads form the backbone of the city, providing buildable zones around them, paths for agents to travel on, and the basic infrastructure for water and electricity distribution as the water pipes and electric cables run pre-built under the roads. The condition of roads decreases over time as vehicles travel on them resulting in slower travel speeds and a higher chance of traffic accidents. To keep the roads safe to drive on and the overall road condition high, a Road Maintenance Depot is required. It sends out a fleet of Road Maintenance Vehicles that roam through the city, patching up worn-down asphalt.
Roads require maintaining, otherwise crashes will be more likely to occur. Placing a road maintenance depot will regularly send out road maintenance vehicles to maintain roads and prevent traffic accidents.
Electricity is one of the key components in running a city. Most buildings require electricity to function and citizens are not willing to suffer a lack of electricity for long before moving out. Businesses lose most of their efficiency when they are deprived of electricity which causes their production and overall function to cease almost entirely and will eventually lead to them going out of business as they can’t make a profit and pay their bills.
Cities: Skylines II features various different power plants from the green, sustainable but quite expensive Wind Turbine, Solar Power Plant, Geothermal Power Plant, and Hydro-electric Power Plant to the raw, polluting power of fossil fuels in the form of Coal Power Plants and Gas Power Plant. Nuclear Power Plant represents the awesome power of the atom, it’s expensive but delivers enough electricity to power up almost any kind of city.
Lack of fresh water leads to people becoming unhappy while companies’ functions are halted as their efficiency decreases greatly. City services also lose much of their effectiveness if they are deprived of fresh water. Surface water can be pumped from open water sources and the water quality is affected by pollution in the water, caused by sewage sources. Groundwater comes reservoirs have a limited refreshment rate and are very susceptible to ground pollution, so plan your water supplies accordingly.
Sewage treatment is a crucial part of city management. In Cities: Skylines II sewage must be either pumped out of the water network and into open waters through a Sewage Outlet or treated in a Wastewater Treatment Plant where it is purified and pumped back into the freshwater network. The pollutants gathered from the treated wastewater become solid waste which can be hauled to any of the city’s garbage management sites.
At their core, both Healthcare and Deathcare are relatively straightforward services. Medical Clinics and Hospitals provide healthcare for the sick and ambulance transportation for those too sick or injured to travel to the medical facilities by themselves. Additionally, healthcare services provide citizens in the surrounding area with a passive Health bonus while ambulances will respond to traffic accidents, taking care of injured citizens and bringing them to a medical clinic or hospital for treatment.
Citizen Health is positively affected by the availability of resources the household uses and their consumption as well as the availability of Healthcare. Negative effects on citizen Health are different pollution types, previous illnesses and injuries, and any uncollected garbage. A sick citizen cannot contribute to their workplace and thus affects the company’s efficiency. Therefore it is important to make sure that citizens are healthy and able to contribute to maximize the city’s success!
Deathcare prepares the deceased on their final journey, transporting them to the cemeteries and crematoriums in hearses. Citizens can die of old age, if their Health decreases too much, if they are involved in a traffic accident, or if they are inside a building when it collapses due to being abandoned or affected by a natural disaster.
Every building accumulates garbage as a by-product of humans living, working, or spending free time there. Various factors can contribute to garbage being accumulated such as: building and zone type, building level and size as well as citizen education level. Higher-level buildings generate less garbage as do citizens with a higher education level.
Garbage is handled by building Landfills and other garbage management buildings which tend to pollute their surroundings, with the Incineration Plant pushing out a lot of air pollution as well, so they should be built far away from residential areas and preferably downwind to avoid the air pollution from affecting the city. The facilities send out garbage trucks that collect garbage from buildings and bring it back for processing. Landfills simply store and slowly process the garbage while the Incineration Plant burns it, turning waste into electricity. The Recycling Center separates the usable parts from the garbage and turns them into resources that can be used by manufacturing companies to produce goods and products.
Education is an important service for a successful city. You can provide your citizens with education by building various schools that correspond to different age groups. Children always go to Elementary School if one is available, while Teens and Adults have the freedom to choose whether to go to school or switch to working. Teens can go to High School while Adults have the option to either go to College or one of the Universities available in the game. When choosing between school and work, citizens calculate which is financially more beneficial for them: to start working now in a lower position and earning money, or studying for a higher possible position earning them more money. Some citizens also simply choose to study or work depending on their inherent interests.
Citizens have 5 levels of education: Uneducated, Poorly Educated, Educated, Well Educated, and Highly Educated. Every time a citizen graduates from a school, their education level increases by one. Citizens can also fail to graduate at which point they evaluate their options and either continue studying or get a job. Education levels are important when filling job positions in companies and city services as most of them have a certain amount of job positions for the various education levels. If companies can’t fill all open positions with the applicable employees (i.e. not enough workers with high enough education), the service’s efficiency decreases and in the case of companies, their production output is affected negatively. Higher-level companies have more job positions for higher education levels compared to low-level companies and in general, higher-educated employees are more sought after than lower-educated employees.
As a special effect, Elementary Schools give a Well-being bonus for families with children living close to the school. This encourages families to move into areas that have Elementary Schools, and can, to some extent, be used to guide how a certain portion of the population behaves.
Fire & Rescue services are quite straightforward gameplay-wise. Having a Fire House or Fire Station present in the city decreases fire hazards in the area surrounding the service buildings. The fire department sends out fire engines to put out building fires, and as fires can spread quickly it is important to sort out traffic jams so that in the case of an emergency, the fire engines are not stuck behind traffic while trying to reach their destination.
Firewatch Towers can be placed in the wilderness to keep watch on and lower the risk of forest fires in their surroundings. Forest fires can easily spread and light nearby buildings, so you will need the Firefighting Helicopter Depot to send out their helicopter fleet which can put out both forest fires and building fires.
Fire & Rescue Service also includes disaster prevention and response. Fire engines rush to rescue citizens trapped in collapsed buildings, while the Early Disaster Warning System detects natural disasters early and sends out notifications to citizens to take shelter. If the city has Emergency Shelters, citizens hurry there and wait out the disaster.
Police keep order in the city and their presence, be it Police Stations or the Police Headquarters, decreases crime accumulation in their neighborhoods. Patrolling police cars also encourage citizens to behave well and they decrease crime probability along the roads they travel. Unless limited by selected districts, police cars can patrol the entire city.
Police respond to crimes and attempt to capture the criminal at the crime scene while the crime is in progress. Arrested criminals are put in jail, and some criminals are sentenced to serve prison time. These prisoners are then transported either to a local Prison or to an Outside Connection to serve their sentence if a local prison is not available. After serving their time, their criminal status is reset and they return to the city. Prisons function also as production facilities, producing resources used by manufacturing companies in the city.
Each building generates crime probability, which is the risk of a criminal selecting a building as the target of their criminal activity. Crime probability also affects citizen Well-being which in turn affects their chance of becoming criminals. Other factors such as lack of electricity, insufficient water and sewage service, pollution, garbage, and lack of leisure affect citizen Well-being as well.
Administration includes services such as Welfare Office, City Hall, and Central Bank. The Welfare Office helps people down on their luck and boosts their Well-being if their Happiness is below half. The City Hall has city-wide effects, ranging from lowered loan interest rates and import costs to reduced crime rates and building leveling costs. The Central Bank also helps reduce loans and boost companies’ profits by lowering import costs while increasing export profits.
Cities: Skylines II features familiar public transportation options from buses and taxis to trains, trams, subways, ships, and airplanes. In addition to the automatic cargo transportation by road via delivery trucks, cargo transportation for rail, water, and air makes a return giving you more control than before.
Each land transport type features its own depot from which they send out their fleet of vehicles. Water and air traffic don’t have depots, but instead, the harbors and airports are connected to the seaways and Outside Connections respectively. Airports are the only transportation building that can be upgraded to also include a cargo terminal as other transportation types have separate passenger and cargo stations and terminals. Check out the development diary Public & Cargo Transportation for a more in-depth look at transportation.
Parks & recreation
In Cities: Skylines II parks, plazas, tourist attractions, and landmarks (or any other city service building) answer to the citizens’ various needs and if their needs are met, citizens find the area where they live appealing and this increases the Land Value as the citizens are willing to continue living there and pay higher rent.
Parks and Recreation buildings offer citizens options where they can spend their free time fulfilling their Leisure demands which in turn positively affects their Well-being. This need for Leisure can be fulfilled in many different ways such as going shopping in a commercial area, enjoying entertainment and meals in places like restaurants, and visiting the various city parks, plazas, sports venues, tourist attractions, and landmarks. Weather and time of the year have an effect on citizens’ choices to fulfill their Leisure demands. Warm and sunny weather encourages them to spend time outdoors in the parks while rainy or cold weather makes them choose indoor activities such as shopping instead.
Parks and Recreation buildings also have an Attractiveness value which affects how attractive the city is for tourists by adding to the City Attractiveness. Tourists stay at local hotels when in the city and make decisions about visiting city attractions based on their distance from the hotel and the location’s Attractiveness value. Tourists might choose a more attractive park or landmark further away if the net result is faster fulfilled Leisure demand regardless of the travel time and cost. Tourists are specifically interested in visiting the various tourist attractions and landmarks.
Communications includes the familiar Post service as well as the new Telecom service which provides the citizens and companies with an internet connection.
Post services fulfill the citizens, companies, and city services’ need to send and receive mail. When citizens are able to send and receive mail, they gain a Well-being boost which contributes to their Happiness, while being unable to send postcards to their friends and family, love letters to their loved ones, and opinionated letters to the editor, decreases their Well-being. Similarly, companies and city services benefit greatly from functioning Post service with an increase in Efficiency when their mail is collected and delivered.
The Post Office sends out post vans to collect mail from mailboxes, used by private citizens to send mail, and directly from companies and city services. The collected mail is stored in the Post Office until it is sent either to an Outside Connection or a Post Sorting Facility. The Post Sorting Facility sorts the mail into local and long-distance mail which is then delivered back to the city and to Outside Connections, respectively. Without the local Post Sorting Facility, all mail sent from the city is transported to Outside Connections as long-distance mail and only mail coming from Outside Connections can be delivered within the city.
Telecommunications is all about providing citizens and companies with a high-speed internet connection. Each citizen, be it a resident in an apartment building, a worker in a company, or a student in a school, uses a small portion of the available network bandwidth (1 Gbit/s) and each telecom building has a bandwidth capacity and range describing how many citizens it can service and how far its service reaches. Good telecommunications service coverage increases citizen Well-being as it provides them with recreation, fulfilling their Leisure demand. The amount of Well-being a citizen gains from using the internet depends on the strength of the network signal, which is always strongest near the source of the signal and decreases as you get further away. Commercial companies benefit from telecommunications by increasing their sales as citizens are able to shop online, while industrial companies get better deals from resource providers as they are able to communicate better and have a wider reach, resulting in lower material costs which in turn increases the companies’ profit margin.
Whether your city is just starting out and you can’t afford to build a service or whether it’s thriving with excess to spare, it can benefit from service trade. Services can be imported from or exported to neighboring cities through Outside Connections and apply to most services. You can save money by not building a service, but of course, imported services also cost money and it takes time for the service vehicles to arrive from one of the Outside Connections. On the other hand, exporting services can be beneficial to a large and established city selling any excess to neighboring cities.
Electricity, water, and sewage services can all be imported and exported. Electricity is transferred from Outside Connections through power lines and into a Transformer Station or vice versa. From there it is distributed to the local grid, ready to be used. You can find power lines running through the map making it possible to connect to your neighbors when you are first starting out. Clean water can be delivered to the city or pumped to neighboring cities via pipe Outside Connections, and likewise, sewage can be sent to and from Outside Connections via pipes built to the edge of the city. To import or export both water and sewage you will need to grow your city enough to reach the edges of the map, where you can create pipe Outside Connections. Excess output is always sold, if possible, while keeping enough for the city’s own needs, and if the usage increases, less is sold to Outside Connections.
If the city does not have any medical facilities, citizens travel to Outside Connections to get treated. If they are too sick or injured to travel, an ambulance is sent from an Outside Connection to pick them up. Once they are treated, they travel back to the city. Similarly, if the city lacks proper deathcare facilities, hearses arrive from Outside Connections to pick up the deceased and transport them out of the city.
Police and fire services can be imported, although their response times are slow as they arrive at crime scenes and emergencies from Outside Connections. Also, the imported services lack the passive service coverage effects from their respective service buildings, which can otherwise decrease crime and fire hazards respectively.
Citizens wanting to go to College or University may travel to Outside Connections if the schools are not available in the city. However, traveling outside of the city for Education may also encourage them to actually move out of the city for good. Therefore it is important to offer the citizens the education options they need! Likewise, your city can export education and attract students from Outside Connections who want to study at the city’s Colleges and Universities. These students move into the city to study and in the process, they also become fully-fledged citizens once they find a home.